Bulgaria announces decisions on use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine

Bulgaria’s national vaccination headquarters decided on April 19 that the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 will not be administered to women under the age of 65 who have an increased risk of thrombosis and/or a history of the blood disorder thromocytopenia, outgoing Health Minister Kostadin Angelov told a news conference.

Angelov said that the vaccination HQ had decided that everyone who had received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and had not experienced serious side effects could receive a second dose of the same vaccine.

Those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca but do not want a second dose of that vaccine may receive a dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, no earlier than 84 days after the first dose.

Those who have Covid-19 after receiving a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose not earlier than six months after laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis.

Those who have had Covid-19 may undergo a full immunisation schedule with the AstraZeneca vaccine no earlier than three months after laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis.

Angelov said that those who were receiving a second dose should do so at the same place that they got the first dose.

Asked if it was clear what the result of combining two different vaccines would be, Angelov said:

“There are no such clinical trials to date.

“We need to complete the immunisation process in some way. This is the option we have adopted,” he said.

Responding to a question, Angelov said that every doctor knew about the risks of thrombosis.

At EU level, there was no data on people suffering thrombosis after a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Angelov said.

He said that “green corridors” for Covid-19 vaccinations for all comers would open in early May.

In a separate statement earlier, the Health Ministry said that more than 150 000 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 arrived in Bulgaria on April 19, including 62 010 BioNTech-Pfizer and 50 000 AstraZeneca.

The ministry said that on April 18, a total of 38 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Bulgaria, and were immediately distributed to the regional health inspectorates.

The next delivery of vaccines is expected by the end of the week, 24 000 doses of the Janssen vaccine, the statement said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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